Up Close: Autism Awareness

Bill Ritter talks with Vanessa Fontaine, mother of Avonte Oquendo who vanished from his Queens school, and the family's attorney, David Perecman.
April 13, 2014 9:27:30 AM PDT
1 in 68 Americans have some form of autism, according to the CDC, a staggering increase in the past 5 years.

This week, we'll examine the disability that is growing faster than anyone thought it could.

And we begin with the story of a young boy whose plight horrified people in the Tri-State area: Avonte Oquendo, the autistic 14-year old who vanished from his Queens school in October and was found dead three months later.

Joining us is Avonte's mother, Vanessa Fontaine, in her first interview since a blistering Department of Education report about the boy's disappearance. Also with us, the family's attorney, David Perecman.

Awareness about autism is rising, as children and families try to cope with this fast-growing developmental disorder.

We'll also be joined by Liz Feld, the president of the country's leading autism advocacy group, Autism Speaks, and the group's spokesman, Michael Rosen.

Watch Up Close with Diana Williams every Sunday morning at 11:00 on Channel 7.